Posted on Wednesday December 1, 2021

Updated on Wednesday December 1, 2021

How do you put your visitors into your stories?

In this session from Europeana 2021, the UK National Archive shares learnings from a participatory project that reflects their public engagement mission: to make a programme that is inclusive and accessible for all.


The National Archives believe archives are for everyone, because they are about everyone. In this presentation Andrew Payne (Head of Education & Outreach) and Steve Burgess (Head of Exhibitions & Events) share how the recent pandemic has changed their approach to digital and physical engagement, how they are reimagining the role of the visitor in the public programme, and the successes and challenges of finding new ways of connecting with audiences, especially those that are harder to reach. 

They explore these outcomes through their most recent offer: The Ministry of Time travel, a collaborative project between the Education and Event teams. It is an immersive adventure trail that puts visitors into the story, asking them to explore the whole National Archives site in order to prevent a historical disaster. It’s part digital, part physical, part detective story, part collection story, part escape room, and at all times completely participatory. The Ministry of Time Travel goes beyond simply putting visitors into the story to actively recruiting them to join the Ministry.

Watch the session to learn about their work and get inspired about bringing visitors into your institution’s stories.



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